Members in the Media
From: WTOP

From Stress to Distress: Virginia Tech Professor on the Expectations on Simone Biles to Win

Mental health experts are taking a closer look at the reasons why U.S. gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s team final at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo over stress. A Virginia Tech professor weighs in.

“We have a culture now that might make this more common,” psychology professor Dr. Scott Geller told WTOP.

Geller said it’s possible that expectations on Biles to win evolved from stress that is typically used to motivate an athlete.

“If our cognitive appraisal says ‘I’m not in control,’ now we have distress,” Geller said. “That’s debilitating and hurtful both psychologically and physically.”

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